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external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:05 am
by gargas

I will try to explain the issue i'm going in (sorry my english, not my native language)

I'm using two softstep presets to control my guitar. the first one for amp settings, and the second one for triggering loops in ableton.

Eveything is working great, except for the leds.

Because I want to have visual feedback of the looper i'm using BOME to give me the right colors. But this is where I'm having issues:

I can send cc messages from BOME via sscom port and trigger the correct LED's... but sscom port is only available in standalone mode, which means that everytime I switch between the "guitar preset" and the "looper preset" all my visual feedback is lost.

I tried using virtual midi ports (just like it should be done for hosted mode), but they don't seem to send data back to the softstep to control the LEDs

Am I missing something? is there any way to externally control Softstep LEDs when in hosted mode, so that i don't loose visual feedback and status, everytime I swithc presets?

Thank you for your help,


Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 11:07 am
by TheOtherSupport@KMI
Have you looked at the I/O tab in teh settings window? You can define midi sources to listen to which can be used as data sources in modlines to turn on/off the LEDs.

Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 12:16 am
by gargas
I thought about it, but not only I wans't able to send any message through it, but also as far as I understood, it only gives me a total of six inputs, each one of them receiving a single CC, with a specific value... which means that in total i can only send (by that way) a total of six different commands to softstep...

Since I intend to control the led feedback according to the looper status, I need to use the softstep midi chart , that for each led/combination requires 3 simultaneous different CC... so six inputs are far to be enough.

As I wrote before, I can make it work with SSCOM port... so I wonder if sscom is the only port that reads direct CC to trigger the leds?

I'm wondering if, by using the midi expander simultaneous with the usb cable i can have sscom to control the hosted mode, and sscomin/out of the midi expander to talk with bome and control led status?

Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:31 am
by gargas
So an update... I finally was able to send external cc to control LED (should have read better the manual, where it states that CC must be sent through midi channel 16...)

But now I'm even more confused...

the manual refers to a set of CC to control red and green LEDs, and if you follow it, it works.

However I found on this forum (Can't recall which post) a midi chart with totally different vaules that also allows the control of a yellow LED! And what confuses me more, is that this midi chart works wonderfully in any midi channel, as long as I keep myself in standalone mode.

Now, with the CC numbers pointed in the manual (sent through channel 16) I can configure all my needs... so I truly don't need the midi chart... But I wonder, why does the midi chart works in standalone, but not in hosted mode, and why does it work in any channel (not just 16)... ?

If someone could help me with this one would be great. in the end, the yellow led is just great, but you can only have it with the midi chart.

Now a second question:
Is there any possibility to send a CC from the softstep, everytime I switch a preset? I was able to do it with the "Init parameter 127" assinged to a pad, but only in hosted mode. what about standalone?

Thank you

Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:21 pm
by emmett@KMI
I'm not sure which MIDI chart you are referring to but there are no yellow LED. The Manual is pretty complete on the MIDI implementation.

Regarding the LED control in hosted mode, you should be able to do that but make sure that you are sending the CC data to a different MIDI port "SoftStep Share". In Standalone you send to "SoftStep Port 1". When you switch between modes, make sure to switch MIDI ports.

Does that solve that issue?

Regarding the second question, I think that can only be done in Hosted mode. You can send program changes on preset change in Standalone however.

Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2014 12:33 am
by gargas
The midi chart i'm reffering to is the one you find on this post, and it does work brilliantly in standalone mode, but i can't make it work in hosted mode.


The yellow led is actually the result of turning on both red and green leds at the same time (which you can do with this chart)

Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:36 pm
by gargas
Back to the same subject, and lost again... wonder if someone can help me. This are the different scenarios and results i'm having:

1 - Softstep connected Via USB, through port SSCOM, in standalone mode

I can get any type of feedback, either using the midi chart from the manual, either using the midi chart prom the post above

2 - Sofstep connected through the midi expander, and powered from the computer via USB (laptop to softstep)

If I send midi data through the midi expander, only the midi chart from the manual works. If I open SSCOM port and send data through it everything works fine...

3 - Sofstep connected through the midi expander, and powered from it (so that I only have one usb cable connected to the sofstep)

I can only have feedback from the first command I issue. A second command will give me no results. All CCs are sended through channel 16 to the midi expander, and I can see the input and output led of the midi expander blinking and monitor the commands through any midi monitor... but they just don't do anything.

Now, the reason I bought the midi expander was so that I could avoid a direct connection to the computer (as a precaution). So I connect the softstep to the midi expander, and the midi expander to my audio/midi interface...

If for having led feedback I have to have the usb cable connected to the pc, then there's no point in having a midi expander...

So I was wondering what I'm doing wrong, since in the manual is said that sending control CC to the softstep is possible via midsi expander?

Thank you

Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:52 am
by gargas
Ok... just found in the forum a topic that describes the exact same issues I'm having


So apparently this is a bug in the software... that in practice, at least for me, makes the midi expander useless.

I don´t want to connect the softstep directly to the pc, because a false move may damage it... but if I want to have LED feedback, for the moment I don't see any other option...

Now the KMI support Team states at he above mentioned topic that they will address this bug in the next release... So My question:

Will we really have an updated version of the softstep software in a short time? and when?
At least I believe that this kind of bugs do really need to be addressed as soon as possible.

I bought the KMI expander convinced that I could use it to send cc messages and led control... but for now... I can only do it I keep also the usb cable connected (which makes no sense at all... doubling the cables for the same functions)

So please... will there be an update to address bugs or did I just spent money on "nothing"?

Sorry... but right now I'm really mad... not because of the bug, but because it is not advertised! and because of this omission, I just bought a piece of hardware that... in the end... just doesn't work as it should (the midi expander... not the softstep)

Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:40 am
by TheOtherSupport@KMI
Like we've said, we have logged this as a request, and it will be addressed in our next update.
If all you're using the Midi expander for is external LED control, then yes it is useless, and we're sorry about that. But generally people are interested in controlling other things with the sofstep, which in that case the midi expander works perfectly. Your case is pretty fringe, and we only discovered this bug due to a users request (see previous thread).

A Softstep update is not very high on our priority list at the moment, but I will see if I can speed the process along at all.

Re: external led control in hosted mode

Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:16 am
by gargas
Thanks for the reply, and sorry if my previous post sounded rude. Just the frustration of a no solution for my issue.

Now, although i appreciate your answer, unfortunately for me that ain't enough. Opposite to you, i think that what what i'm looking for is a very basic and well document feature. Externally control of the softstep leds via midi expander should be possible, as stated on the manual page 67 -chapter 5.7 - External control of softstep:

"The SoftStep can control a wide variety of MIDI software and hardware, but it can also be controlled
from an external source via USB or MIDI Expander."

and page 69

"5.7.4 Using The MIDI Expander
It is possible to control the SoftStep LEDs, display, and presets via input to an attached MIDI Expander. When sending CCs and program change messages to control the SoftStep via the Expander, the messages
must be sent on MIDI channel 16 — any other channels will be ignored and handled normally (see
SSCOM Port 2 section for more info on “normal”)"

So for me, the innability to do this represents a serious bug that criplles the product you are selling, and therefore should be addressed as soon as possible. It is also, (in my opinion, and despite of being a recently found bug), fake advertising that should have been already addressed, since you know of this issue at least since the beggining of June.

Even if you are not considering an update to the software (which I totally understant), some things do need to be solved (and this is for sure one of them).

Now, i can't decide the course of action of kmi, but i must complain of a faulty product. The midi expander might work flawlessly, but if the software doesn't, then it becomes useless on some of the scenarios that you advertise.

So for me kmi should either fix the bug, or accept the hardwaer/software limitations and change the manual.

For me it is already too late... I already got the midi expander, but at least other costumers should be informed of what they are buying.

Don't take me wrong. I love softstep, and I can manage with a USB cable at home/studio... but connecting the softstep straight to a laptop in a live stage? I don't think so, and that would be a final argument for not buying it...

But I guess, in the end, that will be your call.

Sorry for the long post...